Everyone's favorite writer Keith Law has made his way onto ESPN.com today with his Top 50 free agents list. I gotta say, it's pretty bleak. David Eckstein is his #15, and Mr. Law isn't exactly high on him.
Two guys do pop out as intriguing however: Bartolo Colon and Kenny Rogers.
Colon's name has been bandied about here before, mainly b/c he definately has plus-stuff when healthy. I also read an article over at USS Mariner that made me think he wouldn't be a horrible guy to gamble on. Basically, the argument they made in support of him is that if he's healthy, he's a horse w/ plus stuff. Also, his ERA has been inflated over the past 2 years b/c he was really unhealthy in 06, and in 07 he had a super poor strandrate and an abnormal BABIP, despite improved stuff. Now, of course Colon is a huge risk. There is a pretty good shot he'll never be healthy again due to his not-exactly-dogged approach to his conditioning (think a more-talented Sidney Ponson). However, I think given his issues he could be had for about one year, 10-11 million. If the Cards could run some tests and make sure he was fully healthy, and manage to bring him aboard, 10 million bucks for a pitcher of his caliber is a steal, considering what Kyle Lohse is likely to get this offseason. With Wainwright figuring to be a horse again, and with Piniero filling in as at least an innings eater, and with Mulder and Carp giving some kind of contribution somewhere along the line, I think that Colon could fit in even if he only goes 150 innings or so.
Rogers intrigues me as well. I feel that his case is similar to Colon's in that his injury issues last year (+ age in this case) make him unlikely to receive a large contract. However, Rogers has been pretty reliable in recent years. From 02-06 he made 30 starts every year and had an above-league-average ERA every year but the one he pitched in the Homer Dome. A lot of interest has been paid to Tom Glavine, and I see Rogers as a poor-man's Glavine. He's primarily a fastball-changeup pitcher (w/ an occasional plus curveball, which Glavine doesn't have) who relies on execution, not stuff, to get guys out. Switching leagues couldn't hurt either, and he wouldn't exactly be going into a brutal division. I think he could probably be had for a relative bargain as well.
I also want to point out a line in Law's piece that got my attention. In regards to Josh Fogg, Law writes "His 'Dragon Slayer' rep will also help him, at least among general managers who confuse baseball with World of Warcraft." I thought that was a decent attempt at humor, and it is something that Fogg will probably be able to cash in on...I won games vs. good pitchers, so give me a big contract! Since, of course, pitchers win games by themselves just by their mere presence I suppose.